Sunday, July 31, 2016

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 289: Walk Montgomery’s Civil Heritage Trail

Civil Heritage Trail bike rack marker.
There are few things that I enjoy doing more than taking a good walking tour, especially a good historical walking tour. I’ve taken these types of tours in many places and when I heard that the City of Montgomery, Alabama had established a walking tour called the “Civil Heritage Trail,” I put it on my “bucket list” right then and there. Last Saturday (July 23), I finally found time to take this tour (accompanied by my young son), and we had a good time checking out the many historical sites in downtown Montgomery.

Somewhere or other, months ago, we’d picked up a “Civil Heritage Trail” pamphlet, so we knew that most of the 12 sites on the tour involved Montgomery’s rich Civil War and Civil Rights Movement history. We also knew, thanks to the pamphlet, that the tour started at the old Union Station, located on the banks of the Alabama River in downtown Montgomery. We parked nearby, went inside and looked around for a few minutes before officially staring the tour.

Following the tour was easy because each stop was marked with a distinctive, blue Civil Heritage Trail bike rack for individuals who opt to take the tour on bikes rather than on foot. Beginning at Union Station, we took steps and then a long, dark tunnel to Riverfront Park, where we checked out all of the historical markers and the Harriott II riverboat, which was docked there. Despite the heat, more than a few people were milling around the park, exercising, talking with friends and otherwise enjoying the scenic beauty of the old river.

From there, we strolled up Commerce Street to the Court Square Fountain and then veered over to the Rosa L. Parks Library & Museum and the Freedom Rides Museum off South Court Street. We then headed up South Perry Street and onto Dexter Avenue, the wide thoroughfare that leads right up to the front of the State Capitol Building. On the way there, we passed the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and a wide variety of historical markers.

We then took in the grounds at the capitol building before going into the Alabama Department of Archives & History and the Museum of Alabama to soak up some of their air conditioning. My son and I were literally soaked in sweat from our walk, but 30 minutes in the state archives building did wonders for us. My son seemed to have an especially good time in the Hands-On Gallery & Grandma’s Attic area upstairs.

For me, the highlight of the trail was next door at the First White House of the Confederacy. I’d been there once before, when I was in the fifth grade, that is, 29 years ago, and I mistakenly thought you had to pay to get in. To my pleasant surprise, admission is free, and we roamed all over Jefferson Davis’ old house for nearly 45 minutes.

From there, the tour took us past the Civil Rights Memorial & Center and then all the way down South McDonough Street. Before reaching the next stop on the tour, we found a gas station, went inside, bought some refreshments and enjoyed them at a shaded picnic table outside. The weather was hot, and this point in the tour was a good one to take a short break.

A few more blocks up South McDonough Street took us past the Old Lucas Tavern and then past Old Alabama Town, a collection of over 40 authentically restored 19th and early 20th century buildings located near the downtown area. The last leg of the trail took us back toward our starting point and led us past St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Montgomery Biscuits Stadium. A short walk past that took us back to Union Station, the trail’s starting point, and the area where we initially parked. In all, the trail covers about 2-1/2 miles, but it seems a lot farther.

My son and I both enjoyed this walking tour, and I found it a good way to learn a lot about Montgomery’s history in a short amount of time. I once lived in Montgomery for about a year, and this tour showed me some things that I didn’t realize about Montgomery. With that said, if I had to do it all over again, I’d wait to do it in cooler weather, so I could enjoy the trail without having to worry about sweating down in the oppressive heat.

In the end, how many of you have walked the entire length of Montgomery’s Civil Heritage Trail? What did you think about it? What other historical walking trails of this type would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Monroe Journal's News Flashback for July 2016

The grave of Daniel Kimball McMurphy.
JULY 23, 1992

Hope Alexis Daniels, 11, of Monroeville has been invited by the Country Music Association of Alabama to vie for the title of 1993 Top Female Vocalist of the Year in Alabama.
Miss Daniels is the daughter of Joe and Margie Daniels and has been singing since she was seven. Her most recent performance was at the Hank Williams Memorial Concert in Georgiana in June.

After posting a 15-12 victory Friday, Monroeville suffered two straight losses in the Babe Ruth Baseball State Tournament for 13-year-olds in Bay Minette.
Monroeville, which swept through the district tournament in Evergreen undefeated a few weeks ago, beat Grand Bay, 15-12, Friday to open the six-team tournament.
Tallassee upended the District 1 champion, 6-4, Saturday in the double-elimination tournament. Monroeville bowed out of the tournament Sunday with a 5-3 loss to Andalusia.
(Players on Monroeville’s team that year included Bucky Busby, Josh Kendrick, Clinton Kidd, Kevin Luker, Beau Pipkins, Alan Pulfrey, Deric Scott and Eric Scott. Jim Pulfrey was the team’s manager.)

Construction of a building for Frisco City’s newest industry, Medline Industries Inc., has been temporarily delayed.
Bids were opened July 10 from three general contractors vying to build the 39,080-foot pre-engineered building, but all seemed “excessive in relation to the budget for the building,” according to Frisco City Mayor Billy McCrory.

JULY 2, 1981

Plaque for former superintendent: At Friday’s Monroe County Board of Education meeting, board president Edgar Melton presented a plaque and a resolution to former schools superintendent James R. Allen, who became president of Patrick Henry State Junior College April 1 after serving as superintendent since Nov. 15, 1972. The resolution cited Allen for initiating “innovative and progressive programs while supporting established and proved programs to improve the overall educational processes” and handling funds allocated to the board “wisely and with skill to benefit all facets of the educational areas of the county.”

The Dixie Youth Major League all-stars faced each other in a recent game with Reds’ and the Giants’ all-stars beating the all-star team of the Cubs and the Yankees. The Reds’ and the Giants’ team was composed of Walter Yohn, Jim Godwin, Troy Brown, Paul Luker, Justin Owens, Dallas Gamble, Jill Rowell, Mitch Dees, Sterling Kimbrel, Jason McKinley, Jeff Griffin, Cindy Rowell, coaches Tommy Stacey, Collins McKinley and Dou Dees. The Cubs’ and the Yankees’ all-stars were Pat Harden, Nicklaus Ackerman, Chip Bates, Alfred Carter, Mickel Brown, Robert Edwards, John Rice, Land Sikes, John Abernathy, Chris Casey, Monte Skinner, Brian Ekberg, coaches Bobby Edwards and John Rice.

Timmy Trawick of Goodway holds a five-foot, 10-1/2 inch rattlesnake he and a friend, Gary Shewbrey of Goodway, killed June 2 on Old Stage Road. They killed the snake with an eight-foot piece of plywood. The snake has 12 rattles and one button.

JULY 28, 1977

Ronnie Ray of Ray’s Ace Hardware in Frisco City is greeted by Lou Fant at the Ace Hardware convention held in Dallas, Texas, June 3-7. Ray placed orders in Dallas for fall and winter merchandise soon to be shipped to Frisco City.

In district finals: The Monroeville Little League All-Stars won the District 5, Area 1 title last Thursday night at Monroeville’s Bud Lathram Field. The team will travel to Andalusia tonight (Thursday) to meet Jackson for the district title and the right to play in the state tournament.
(Members of the team included Gathern McClain, Frank Brown, Anthony Morressette, Donald Kilpatrick, Ken Miller, Calvin Tucker, Kenneth Richardson, Ricky Wilson, Frank Jones, Michael Howard, Ray Laffitte, Ricky Smith, Jerome Ikner, Mike Strout and Edger Lee McCarthy. Billy Ghee was the team’s manager, and Ned Adams was assistant coach.)

An Evergreen man drowned Monday, after he and another man fell from a boat into the Alabama River north of Davis Ferry.
The body of Jerry Peacock, 18, was pulled from the river by Monroe County Rescue Squad members at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Monroeville Police Chief Charles Colbert said.
Fifteen squad members dragged the river from five small boats for nearly 17 hours before recovering the body.
Bobby Johnson, 18, Evergreen, was piloting a small motor boat near the east bank of the river when the accident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, Monroe County Chief Deputy Sheriff Larry Ikner said.
Ikner said although Peacock reportedly did not know how to swim, neither man was wearing a life preserver.

JULY 13, 1972

New city voters list has 3,283 names, largest ever: The list of qualified voters for the City of Monroeville appears in this week’s issue of The Journal as the municipality prepares for the Aug. 8 general election.
This year’s list contains approximately 3,283 names, some 800 more than were listed four years ago prior to the last general municipal election.

First policewoman resigns city post: Mrs. Molly Adams has resigned her position as policewoman with the City of Monroeville effective Tues., July 11.
She has been a member of the police force since March 3, 1969, serving as a meter maid and relief radio operator. Her salary was paid jointly by the city and the Little River Community Action Corporation.

Riley Kelly receives poetry award: Riley Kelly of Excel was among the Alabama poets receiving honorable mention for their entries in the 13th annual convention contest at the 1972 annual convention of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Kentucky Southern College, last week.

The Monroe Dixie Youth All-Stars will be traveling to Sweet Water for the Sub-District playoffs in their baseball league. They will be taking on Grove Hill at 7:30 p.m., July 18.
(Members of the Monroe all-star team included Mitch Jones, Chris Hornady, Jim Carter, Chris Smith, Hudson Lazenby, Kevin Norris, Johnny Till, Hines Steele, Tommy Bowden, Whetzel Trussell, Frank Carter, Allen Jaye, O’Neal Jordan, Mike Stanton and W.T. Stanton. Coaches were David Middleton and Perry Nye.)

JULY 7, 1966

Old Courthouse Dilemma Remains: Tear down the old courthouse or not tear it down… that is the question which, even after a poll of the county commission, is still unanswered.
Built in 1903, the courthouse, according to a recent survey of an engineering firm, is still safe for use.
But the question is, should the old courthouse be allowed to remain in its present state of condition, detracting from the new courthouse which was completed in September 1963 at a cost of $600,000.
After all occupants of the old courthouse were moved into the new courthouse some 50 yards away, new occupants moved into the old courthouse.
A poll of the commissioners on whether the old courthouse should be torn down, left as is, or remodeled, showed a divided opinion of the members and still no definite plans on the old courthouse’s fate.
Two of the members (M.L. Pearce and David M. Nettles) said they thought the courthouse should be torn down “if,” one (Fonde Williams of Finchburg) was in favor of leaving the courthouse and remodeling it, another (Jerry Steele of Beatrice) said he would have to know more about the economical value either way while another board member was non-committal.

Sgt. Harry Ikner, who served with the First Brigade, 100th Airborne Division in Vietnam, recently returned to the states. His wife, Sue, his daughter, Kris, and son, Harry Jr., visited with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ira L. Ikner, for 15 days before reporting for duty at Fort Bragg, N.C.

JULY 18, 1963

Pool Under Construction: Construction on the new swimming pool at Vanity Fair Park in Monroeville has begun and members of the younger set are anxiously awaiting its completion. The pool will be 82-1/2 by 42 feet with an offset area for diving, measuring 28 by 40 feet. A children’s wading pool, 30 by 40 feet, will be constructed adjacent to the main swimming pool.

FBI Reports No Robbery Arrests: A check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mobile Wednesday afternoon revealed that no arrests have been made as yet in connection with the robbery of the Union Bank in Repton last week.
A lone bandit entered the bank at noon Tuesday of last week and forced Carl Ryals, cashier, to fill his brief case from the cash drawers and safe. He then locked Mr. Ryals in the vault and fled. All personnel of the bank were at lunch except A.E. Kelly, who had stepped next door for a few minutes. The town was practically deserted during the noon hour and no one saw the bandit before or after the hold up.
FBI, state and local officials converged on the town immediately, but the bandit had evidently made good his escape.

The Interstate Commerce Commission has authorized the Louisville & Nashville Railroad to purchase the four and one-half mile Manistee & Repton Railroad.
The M&R runs between Monroeton Junction and Monroeville twice weekly.
The ICC at the same time dismissed the M&R’s application for permission to abandon the entire line.

JULY  26, 1962

IN MEXICO – Winston Sessions of Monroeville and Douglas Hitson of Andalusia are attending summer school at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. They are seniors at Livingston State College and are majoring in Spanish. Winston is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Sessions of Monroeville.

A total of five new instructors for Monroe County schools was approved at a recent meeting of the Board of Education.
Miss Bobby Nell Northrop has been named to the elementary school faculty in Frisco City. A graduate of J.U. Blacksher School, Uriah, Miss Northrop was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at Auburn University, where she also served as head majorette.
Mrs. Marlene Brantley Grissette of Excel will replace Mrs. Wilbur Sessions of Monroeville on the elementary school faculty at Excel.
Gerald R. Irby, a native of Millry, has been named as coach and teacher at Excel. He replaces Charles Walston in the coaching position. Mr. Walston will remain on the Excel faculty as a science instructor. For the past five years, (Irby) has been assistant coach at Satsuma High School, Mobile County.
Benny G. Rhoades Jr., a Selma native, has been appointed coach and teacher at J.U. Blacksher School, Uriah. He was assistant coach for four years in Shelby County and for one year in Geneva County.
Mrs. Betty Watkins Irby has been engaged as elementary school teacher in Uriah.

JULY 11, 1957

Dr. Nicholas Begins Practice This Week: Dr. Francis Nicholas, 33, a Monroe County native, opened offices here in the Simmons Building for the practice of general medicine.
Born in Frisco City, Dr. Nicholas is the son of Mrs. Ernest E. Nicholas and the late Mr. Nicholas of Monroeville.
He was graduated from the Medical College of Alabama, Birmingham, in June 1956 and since that time has completed his internship at Lloyd Noland Hospital, Fairfield.
Dr. Nicholas was graduated from the University of Alabama in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He completed a year of graduate work in general science there in 1951-52.
Dr. Nicholas stated he plans to construct a clinic in the near future at a location on Claiborne Avenue, approximately 1-4 miles east of Monroeville Hospital.

Former Legislator Dies On Saturday At Home In Uriah: William Walter Garrett, 74, prominent Monroe County businessman, farmer and former state legislator, died at his home in Uriah Saturday night at 10:25.
Funeral services were held Monday at 10 a.m. from the Uriah Methodist Church with the Rev. Don Brown officiating.
A native Monroe Countian, Mr. Garrett had lived in Uriah for the past 49 years. He served 16 years in the Alabama State Legislature, he was a member of the House of Representatives from 1939-43; a member of the Senate, 1943-47; and a member of the House from 1947-55.
He is a former Master of the Blacksher Masonic Lodge No. 593 at Uriah, of which he was a member at the time of his death.

JULY  5, 1951

Clubview Apartments Will Be Open For Occupancy On July 10: Opening of the new Clubview Apartments on Bigger Street on July 10 is expected to alleviate the tight housing situation in Monroeville, local housing representatives stated this week.
Construction of the 20-unit project began in June of last year and was completed several months ago. Occupancy of the apartments was delayed by the lack of sewage lines which according to local realty agents will be finished within the next few days.

Two Losses; One Win Is Week’s Record For Locals: With a loss of 2-0 in Tuesday night’s game here with Atmore, Monroeville racked up two defeats and one victory in the past week in league games.
Last Thursday night the local club bowed to the Thomasville nine, 7-4, but were victors over the Craig Field team Saturday night, 5-1, both games being played at the Park.
(Players on Monroeville’s team included Chandler, Finlayson, Johnson, Riley, Glen Scott, Stevens, Tucker and Weaver.)

Uriah Soldier Is Now 25th Infantry Rifleman: With the 25th Inf. Div., U.S. Army – Pvt. Thomas B. Qualls, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sid Qualls, Route 1, Uriah, is now serving as a rifleman with the 35th Infantry Regiment, a part of the 25th Division, in Korea.
Before entering the service in November 1950, Qualls was employed by J.U. Blacksher, Uriah.

A Monroe County Masonic Conference will be held in Monroeville next Thursday, with the local Alabama Lodge No. 3 as host.
The program, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will be as follows: Address of welcome, Rev. A.C. Lee; response, Rev. J.F. Bilbro; introduction grand officers and visitors; conference business.

JULY 15, 1948

David McCoy, young Claiborne man, is being held in the county jail, charged with assault with a weapon in the knifing of another Claiborne man, Claude Gaillard, Monday morning, Deputy Sheriff J.N. Kennedy said here Wednesday.
The county officer said that Gaillard was severely wounded and is in a Repton hospital.
Mr. Kennedy reported that McCoy told him an argument between him and Gaillard started after he had received word that Gaillard had been hunting for him all day Sunday. McCoy said when he asked Gaillard why he had been hunting him, words were exchanged and Gaillard attempted to hit him with a flashlight, the officer concluded.

Monroeville’s baseball team will play the Atmore nine here Sunday afternoon at Legion Field at three o’clock, Coach LeVaughn Hanks announced.
The local nine will play a double header in Brewton tonight (Thursday) with the first game slated to get underway at seven o’clock. Sunday’s game at Brewton was rained out after three and one half innings with Monroeville leading the Brewton team, 5-4.

Edwin C. Rodgers has resigned his position as Monroe County engineer effective July 22 to accept a similar position in Madison County, Tenn., Judge E.T. Millsap announced Wednesday.
Mr. Rodgers has served as county engineer since August 1946, when he was discharged from the Army. He and his family will move to Jackson, Tenn. the latter part of the month to make their home.

JULY 24, 1947

The Blacksher Store Co. of Uriah will observe its first anniversary under new management Saturday, Frank Rush, vice president and manager, announced this week.
The concern is conducting a special sale on that day, Mr. Rush said, and any person whose birthday anniversary occurs on July 27 will receive a silver dollar from the store upon bringing proof of his birth date. Actually the store’s anniversary is July 27 but since that date is on Sunday, the sale has been set for Saturday.
The Blacksher Store, one of the largest in the county, was begun almost 40 years ago. The present ownership is composed of D.W. Blacksher, president, and Mr. Rush, vice-president.

Frisco City defeated Flomaton, 7-4, Sunday afternoon at Flomaton with M. Watson, right fielder, leading a heavy hitting attack against Kennedy, who pitched for the losers.
Watson batted out a homer in the third inning with one man on and also got two doubles during the game. T. Springer was the winning pitcher.
Exceptional fielding was chalked up in the seventh inning when A. Murphy, first baseman for Frisco City, reached over the fence to catch a fly and retire Flomaton, and in the same inning when G. Gaston, second baseman, made a diving catch of a fly ball.

Preparation for about 1-1/2 miles of street for paving in Frisco City probably will get underway this week or next, Mayor G.E. Hendrix revealed Wednesday.
The construction is expected to cost about $7,500 and the majority of the paving will take place in the area leading out to Snyder and on the extension to Central Avenue, Mr. Hendrix said.

JULY  9, 1942

SCHOOL HEADS RETURN FROM NEA IN DENVER: Mr. and Mrs. H.G. Greer have returned from a delightful trip to Denver, Colo. While there, they attended the session of the National Education Association and also visited several places of interest.
Miss Luna Nichols remained in Colorado to attend the two weeks conference of supervisors and Directors of Instruction at Estes Park, Colo.

EXCEL PRODUCING SOME FINE PEACHES: The finest peaches in the Excel community are being grown on the farm of Mr. Emmit Hall. His daughter, Mary Lou, purchased these trees in a cooperative fruit tree order through the Vocational Agriculture department.
Mary Lou says, “The peaches this year on one tree will pay the cost of the entire orchard.”
Mr. Terrell, Excel Vocational Agriculture teacher, reports that he is sure that one may purchase some peaches by visiting Mary Lou’s home near Hall’s store in the Excel community.

Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Blass and two sons spent the holidays with relatives in Waynesboro and other points in Mississippi.

Frisco City, Ala. sent another young man into the armed services today when James Forest Rikard enlisted for aviation training in the Naval Reserve.
Rikard, 23, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. F.F. Rikard. He is a graduate of Frisco City High School and attended Marion Military Institute where he had two years of R.O.T.C. training. He then enrolled at the University of Alabama and was graduated May 25, 1942 with a B.S. degree.

JULY 2, 1936

New Post Office Building Is Seen For Monroeville: Monroeville will have a new Federal building in the near future according to dispatches from the Treasury Department in Washington. This building is one of a number authorized in Alabama and Mississippi to be constructed out of the $60,000,000 fund provided in the relief bill.

Better Days Are Seen For Local Baseball Team: With several new men recruited for the Monroeville team, better days are predicted for the local nine during the second half of the South Alabama League which begins this week. Encouraging for the locals were the victories of the past week.
After defeating the Thomasville team here last Tuesday afternoon in a non-league game, the local club came back again on Tuesday to shut out the Jay, Fla. outfit, 3-0.
Monroeville defeated the Century-Flomaton team on Legion Field Thursday afternoon, 18-2.
Monroeville went to Century Sunday to return the Flomaton-Century game and returned the victor by a 12-10 score after a game which was exciting throughout and which netted home runs to both sides.

Officers Are Chosen By Franklin Lodge: At a regular communication of Monroe Lodge No. 485, the following officers were elected to serve the ensuing year: C.J. McKinley, worshipful master; Clarence Hybart, senior warden; A.S. Rachels, junior warden; A.M. Stabler, treasurer; W.J. Jones, secretary; S.R. Stabler, senior deacon; H.T. Rachels, junior deacon; B.H. Rachels, tyler; D.S. Sikes, chaplain.

JULY  20, 1933

Escapees Are Found Waiting at Jail Door for Admittance: Times are better in jail than out. At least that is the opinion of two of the men who escaped from the Monroe County jail here last week, for when Sheriff Sawyer came to town Tuesday morning they were waiting at the jail door for him to again open the doors to them. Two others had been returned to jail the latter part of last week, leaving a fifth prisoner still at liberty.
The break, in which the five prisoners gained liberty, occurred just before day Tuesday morning of last week. Prisoners had taken a bolt and grate from a stove and managed to break the locks that stood between them and freedom.

Mr. J.U. Blacksher was up from Mobile Thursday.

The Monroeville Golf Club will have its third annual invitation tournament Thurs., July 27. All entrants will be required to play a qualifying round or turn in a qualifying score by 10 o’clock Thursday morning. Invitations have been mailed to members of about a dozen clubs and a large number of golfers are expected to take part in the tournament.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence M. White moved to Frisco City on Tuesday to make their home. Mr. White is employed at Lee Motor Co.

B.F. Stallworth went to Mobile last week to attend a state meeting of probate judges and members of county revenue boards.

Mrs. R.A. Smith and Miss Ida Rutherford left with a party Sunday for a visit to Chicago and the Century of Progress Exposition.

JULY 28, 1932

Sam McCorrey shot and killed Mary Cooper near Eliska Monday night. Immediately after the shooting the Sheriff was notified and Tuesday morning the deputy was sent to the scene of the killing where he found McCorrey ready to surrender. McCorrey’s statement is to the effect that the Cooper woman was trying to take a shotgun away from him when the weapon was accidentally discharged. McCorrey has been placed in the county jail to await the action of the grand jury.
Both McCorrey and the Cooper woman… had been living in the Eliska community about 12 years.

Last word received from William Barnett, Nick Hare and David Katz was that they were at the Grand Canyon and had recently made a trip into Mexico. They were joined by two other boys, Otho Robinson of Atmore, and Jack Dawes of Boston, who will make the trip to California with them.

The store building and entire stock of goods belonging to Mr. W.H. Tucker at McGill was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning. Soon after the fire was discovered it was thought that the store might have been robbed and burned, but further investigation has failed to furnish any clue.

Mr. A.T. Simmons is planning to open a grocery store in Monroeville which will be located in the Simmons Building. Shelving and fixtures are being installed and as soon as stock has been assembled, Mr. Simmons will give due notice of his opening.

James A. Sanders is to be the new postmaster here (Beatrice), taking charge of the office in the near future.

JULY 14, 1927

DELEGATION WORKS FOR EAST AND WEST HIGHWAY: A delegation of Monroe and Clarke County citizens went to Montgomery Friday to appear before the State Highway Commission in an effort to interest the commissioners in an east and west highway by way of Monroeville, Claiborne, Whatley, Grove Hill and Coffeeville.
The delegation was very well pleased at the reception they received at the hands of the Highway Department. The most serious obstacle in the way at this time, they stated, was due to there being a division of sentiment as to what project that county wished taken up next.

Messrs. Mims and Hudson, who recently sold the plant of the Monroeville Ice and Power Co. to the Gulf Utilities Co., have purchased the gin plant at Megargel and will operate it in connection with their plant at Uriah. It is assumed that both plants will be operated by electricity generated at Uriah.

MASONIC MEETINGS: The regular meetings of Alabama Lodge No. 3 are held on Friday evenings before the first and third Sundays in each month at 7:30. Regular convocation of Monroe Chapter No. 122 (is held) on the first Monday evening in each month.

Miss Edna Faulk has returned home after a visit to friend in Montgomery.

Mr. L.N. Faulkenberry of Tunnel Springs was a visitor to Monroeville the first of the week.

JUNE 2, 1921

SMALLPOX EPIDEMIC: An outbreak of smallpox in the southern part of the county was reported to the health authorities a few days ago, and prompt measures were taken to stamp out the disease.
Thirty cases are said to exist in a turpentine camp near Uriah. The camp has been placed under rigid quarantine and every effort will be made to prevent the spread of the disorder to other communities.

Mr. E.T. Simpson of Ocean Springs, Miss. was here for a few days this week installing a Linotype machine in The Journal office. He is an expert machinist and capable instructor in the operation of this wonderful mechanical contrivance, which seems able to do everything in the preparation of reading material except to exercise independent thought.

Jones Mill: The passenger train on the Deep Water Route did not make its appearance yesterday on account of a wreck on the road between here and Pensacola. As we have only one train a day here we miss it greatly when it fails to come but guess our troubles are nothing to that of the passengers who are aboard at the time of the delay.

MEMBER FEDERAL RESERVE: The Monroe County Bank, Monroe’s oldest and strongest financial institution, has been recently admitted to membership in the Federal Reserve Banking system. The mere fact of the acceptance by the Federal Reserve Board of the bank’s application for membership is evidence of the high esteem in which the bank is held in financial circles for its progressive policy. The new connection will enable the bank to serve its constituency yet more efficiently.

JULY 17, 1919

Mr. J.L. Holloway received the sad news of the death of his son, Clark, which occurred in France on June 26. He went with the Rainbow Division and has seen hard service. He had many friends here who will learn of his sad fate with deep regret.

Home of Morrissette Motor Car Co. Handsome Structure: One of the best and prettiest garages in the state is that of the Morrissette Motor Car Co. of Monroeville. The building was constructed by the latest plan of architecture. It contains about 7,000 feet of floor space and all departments are arranged for greatest convenience. Two large touring cars can be displayed inside the plate glass windows and then have room to spare. Among other improvements introduced here is a battery recharging station, which is rarely found outside the larger cities.

Nineteen cars of peaches were shipped out of Monroe County for northern and eastern markets last week. The most of them were shipped from Snider, Roy and Hadley. The peaches are of fine quality and are bringing fancy prices.

Two of the large army trucks placed in Monroe County for road improvement have arrived and we are informed that two more will be sent here as soon as shipment can be made.

Mr. Parker E. Draughon, a prominent young banker of Mobile, spent last week with Mr. J.L. Marshall. Mr. Draughon is a grandson of the late Hon. J.J. Parker, who was a prominent character in this county some years ago.

JULY 11, 1912

Capt. John McDuffie is in camp with Col. Bricken’s regiment Alabama National Guard at Anniston.

Several new dwellings are to be erected in Monroeville very soon, the new homes of Dr. W.T. Bayles and Tax Assessor B.B. Finklea being among the number.

Capt. Hybart of the local militia company has received orders to report with his company at the maneuvers camp at Anniston next week. The company will leave on Monday next.

Editor Journal: Please announce that Dr. J.H. McCormick of Mobile and Bro. J.F. Burson of O’Lea, Ala. will deliver Masonic addresses at Franklin on July 17. The Perdue Hill baseball team will play a game in the afternoon. Ice cream and cold drinks will be served for the benefit of the new hall. – J.D. McKinley.

Work on the extension of the Monroeville branch of the railroad continues to progress though interfered with somewhat by the heavy rains of the last 10 days. The track laying crew is up with the grading work and is only prevented from coming on into town by the unforeseen delays referred to.

The Monroe County Masonic Conference will convene with Tunnel Springs Lodge No. 578, Tunnel Springs, Ala., at nine o’clock on Tues., July 30, 1912, and continue three days.
The people of Tunnel Springs will be glad to entertain all who come, and a committee on entertainment has been appointed who will see that every visitor will be cared for.

JULY 16, 1903

Mr. F.M. Clecker of Atlanta, Ga., superintendent of construction for M.T. Lewman & Co., arrived a few days ago and is at work laying off the ground and preparing to lay the foundation for the new court house.

NOTICE! There will be an ice cream supper at the residence of J.W. Wilkerson, 1-1/2 miles south of Manistee on Saturday night, July 18, for the benefit of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Everybody is cordially invited. Come boys and bring your girls.

Another Deplorable Killing: A deplorable homicide occurred near Buena Vista, this county, on Thursday night of last week, Mr. Dan McMurphy being shot and instantly killed by Mr. Julius Farish, his nephew.
The circumstances as we gather from reliable sources, were as follows: Messrs. McMurphy and Farish were present at a church supper at the home of Mrs. Bettie Griffith, when a dispute arose between the parties over a voting contest. Mr. McMurphy assaulted Mr. Farish, striking him several times in the face when the latter drew his pistol and shot the former, the bullet taking effect in the heart, producing death in a few moments. The close relationship existing between the two families renders the affair the more deplorable. Mr. McMurphy leaves a wife and eight children.

BURNT CORN: Mr. John Betts is having an addition built to his house which will make him a large and handsome dwelling when completed.

There have been only 20 applicants before the board of (Confederate) Pension Examiners this session. Last year there were 39.

Today in History for July 31, 2016

Andrew Johnson
July 31, 1498 – On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.

July 31, 1703 – English novelist, journalist and pamphleteer Danie Defoe was pilloried for sedition. He had published a pamphlet called "The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters" in 1702, written as a satire of High Church policies toward Nonconformists, or Dissenters - Protestants who didn't conform to the established Church of England practices. He wrote it from the High Church viewpoint, advocating the killing of Dissenters as the simplest way to deal with them, and it was a huge seller.

July 31, 1715 – Seven days after a Spanish treasure fleet of 12 ships left Havana, Cuba for Spain, 11 of them sink in a storm off the coast of Florida. A few centuries later, treasure was salvaged from these wrecks.

July 31, 1775 - In Boston Harbor, at Nantasket Point (Little Brewster Island) Patriots stopped completion of repairs on a lighthouse and killed or captured 32 Redcoats. Minutemen had raided the island 10 days before and burned the lighthouse.

July 31, 1777 – French aristocrat Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, then age 19, was commissioned a major general in the Continental Army by the U.S. Second Continental Congress – without pay. The resolution passed by Congress asked that the services of Gilbert du Motier "be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States." He would visit Claiborne in Monroe County on April 6, 1825.

July 31, 1790 – The first U.S. patent was issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

July 31, 1792 - The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Pa. was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a U.S. government building.

July 31, 1806 – The Rev. Pitts Milner, founder of Georgiana, Ala., was born in Wilkes County, Ga.

July 31, 1816 - Union General George H. Thomas, who deserves a share of the credit for the Union success in the west, was born in Southhampton County, Va. Thomas commanded a corps at Stones River and became a Northern hero for his actions at Chickamauga in September 1863. When a gap appeared in the Union line at a crucial moment and Confederate troops began to pour through it, Thomas led a rally that saved the Federals from a serious defeat.

July 31, 1831 – Monroe County Commissioners purchased the 80-acre plot that surrounds the three-acre public square in present-day Monroeville, Ala., the site of the old 1903 courthouse, now the Monroe County Heritage Museum, and the present courthouse built in 1963.

July 31, 1835 – French-American anthropologist and explorer Paul Du Chaillu in either Paris or New Orleans, La. He became famous in the 1860s as the first modern European outsider to confirm the existence of gorillas, and later the Pygmy people of central Africa. He later researched the prehistory of Scandinavia.

July 31, 1837 – Mary Harris Jones or “Mother Jones” was born in Cork, Ireland.

July 31, 1861 - Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers.

July 31, 1861 - The Missouri State Convention voted 56 to 25 to elect a new pro-Union governor. Hamilton R. Gamble, pro-Union was elected to replace Claiborne Jackson, pro-Confederate.

July 31, 1861 - The Army of the State of Tennessee was transferred to the Confederate States of America.

July 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, in response to Union General John Pope's order that citizens be shot as spies, Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered Pope's officers be held as felons and not prisoners-of-war.

July 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederates Braxton Bragg and Kirby Smith met in Chattanooga to agree on strategy against the Army of the Ohio.

July 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, two days of Confederate attacks began on the Union camps and shipping between Shirley and Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.

July 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a treaty was signed with bands of the Shoshone Indians at Fort Boise, in the Snake River County, the Idaho Territory.

July 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lancaster, Paint Lick Bridge and Stanford, Kentucky; at Saint Catharine’s Creek, near Natchez, Mississippi; and at Morris’ Mills, West Virginia. Two days of skirmishing also began in the vicinity of Kelly’s Ford, Virginia.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Watkins’ Plantation in Northern Alabama.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were foght in the vicinity of Fort Smith, Arkansas; at Orange Grove, which is near Donaldsonville, Louisiana; and at Hancock, Maryland.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, Brownsville, Texas was reoccupied by Confederate forces.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, lines were reestablished at Petersburg, Virginia in the area of the huge crater.

July 31, 1875 - Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, died of a stroke at the age of 66 while visiting his daughter in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

July 31, 1879 – Around 10 p.m., after the “Emma” delivered a load of freight on the wharf at the Lower Warehouse at Claiborne, Ala., J.B. Crow and a “couple of young men” caught a “gang of thieves” in the act of stealing flour and coffee, something they’d apparently been doing for several years. The thieves included Allen Howard, Ran Taswell, Dick James, Adam Taswell, Lang Agee, Singleton James and Jesse McGrew. In the ensuing confrontation, Ran Taswell was shot in the leg and died from his wounds about four hours later. Agee was also shot, but managed to escape as did Dick James, Adam Taswell and Singleton James. McGrew and Howard were arrested and placed in jail. “Thus has one of the boldest and most shameless band of thieves been bursted up that has been organized in this section in many years.”

July 31, 1896 – The Hon. E.R. Morrisette was scheduled to “address the people on the issues of the campaign” in Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday at 10 a.m. He was also scheduled to speak at Perdue Hill the following day at 10 a.m.

July 31, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Misses Janie and Jessie and Master John Grissette of Garland were visiting the family of their uncle, Capt. Thos. S. Wiggins.

July 31, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that work on the new parsonage had been at a standstill for a few days, the workmen “having worked up all available material on the grounds.”

July 31, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that, according to The Evergreen Courant, “while at the baseball game, Mr. S.P. Dunn’s horse became suddenly frightened and ran away, throwing himself and Dr. J.C. Snead out. Dr. Snead was not hurt seriously, but Mr. Dunn was knocked insensible for some time and was severely shook up.”

July 31, 1905 – A “windstorm” caused “great devastation” in and around the Buena Vista community in Monroe County, Ala. The Liddell brothers gin house was blown down, a wagon and buggy were “torn to pieces” and many trees were blown down four to five miles from Buena Vista.

July 31, 1908 – Fletcher Stallworth and Sam Booker were killed and two others were critically injured in a boiler explosion at W.D. Johnson’s saw mill near Skinnerton, Ala.

July 31, 1912 – W.B. Coker of the China community exhibited the first open boll of cotton of the season in Conecuh County, Ala.

July 31, 1914 – W.A. Baggett of Belleville, Ala. produced the first bale of cotton for 1914 and marketed it at Repton.

July 31, 1915 – Capt. T.M. Riley held a reunion of the members of his Civil War company, and all the company members that were there the previous year attended except for John McCants of Tinela, who had died. J.J. Finklea gave a brief report on the reunion in the Aug. 5, 1915 edition of The Monroe Journal.

July 31, 1915 – In a doubleheader between baseball teams from Herbert and Mason at Mason, Herbert won both games, 2-1 and 3-0.

July 31, 1915 – Holly Grove’s baseball team beat Bowles, 19-8, at Bowles (in Conecuh County).

July 31, 1916 – Baseball and football great William “Billy” Clyde Hitchcock was born in Inverness in Bullock County, Ala. He was an infielder, coach, manager and scout in Major League Baseball. In minor league baseball, he served as president of the Double-A Southern League from 1971–80. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Senators, the St. Louis Browns, the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Athletics, and he managed the Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves.

July 31, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. William F. Atchinson of Thomasville, Ala. was killed in action.

July 31, 1919 – Writer and poet Primo Levi was born in Turin, Italy.

July 31, 1930 - The radio mystery program “The Shadow” aired for the first time.

July 31, 1932 - The NSDAP (Nazi Party) won more than 38 percent of the vote in German elections.

July 31, 1938 – Archaeologists discovered engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great in Persepolis.

July 31, 1938 – The Dothan Browns baseball team beat the Evergreen Greenies, 10-0, in Dothan, Ala. Also that day, Evergreen’s amateur baseball team beat the Atmore prison team, 7-6, behind the pitching of Bill Seales and Wendell Hart.

July 31, 1941 – During the Holocaust, under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, ordered SS General Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired Final Solution of the Jewish question."

July 31, 1952 – Jerry Donovan, a graduate of Evergreen High School and 1950 graduate of the University of Alabama, left Mobile, Ala. by air for her new assignment as an elementary teacher at an Air Force base in the Philippine Islands.

July 31, 1953 - A television version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "Horseman in the Sky" was broadcast as part of the “Your Favorite Story” series.

July 31, 1954 – The first bale of cotton from the 1954 crop in Conecuh County, Ala. was officially ginned.

July 31, 1954 - An official announcement was made by researchers that Los Angeles smog was caused by the chemical reaction of sunlight on auto and industrial emissions.

July 31, 1954 – The first ascent of K2 was achieved by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.

July 31, 1954 – Poet and novelist Kim Addonizio was born in Washington, D.C.

July 31, 1955 – In the Conecuh County, Ala. Amateur Baseball League, McKenzie was scheduled to play at Lyeffion; Paul was scheduled to play at Old Texas; and Chapman was scheduled to play at Garland.

July 31, 1961 – At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in Major League Baseball history occurred when the game was stopped in the ninth inning because of rain.

July 31, 1962 – Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene was born in Schenecady, N.Y. He went on to play for Auburn University, the Los Angeles Rams, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

July 31, 1963 - A movie version of Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “Toys in the Attic, was released.

July 31, 1964 - The first close-up photographs of the moon were sent back to Earth by Ranger 7.

July 31, 1964 - In a news conference, Secretary of State Dean Rusk admited there were differences between the United States and South Vietnam on the issue of extending the war into North Vietnam, but agreement on the general conduct of the war. He stated that U.S. warnings to communist China and North Vietnam indicated total U.S. commitment.

July 31, 1965 – “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England.

July 31, 1967 – At 9:05 p.m., Alabama Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace signed Act No. 106 into law, which extended the city limits of Evergreen, increasing the city’s size from 6.25 square miles to 16 square miles. The Act began as House Bill 227 and was introduced by State Representative William D. “Billy” Melton. The bill passed the House on June 20 and passed the Senate on July 11. Secretary of State Mabel Amos received the bill and enrolled it at 11:27 a.m. on Aug. 1.

July 31, 1972 - Hanoi challenged the Nixon administration on the dike controversy, claiming that since April there had been 173 raids against the dikes in North Vietnam with direct hits in 149 locations. On July 28, in response to claims by the Soviet Union that the United States had conducted an intentional two-month bombing campaign designed to destroy the dikes and dams of the Tonkin Delta in North Vietnam, a CIA report was made public by the Nixon administration. It stated that U.S. bombing at 12 locations had caused accidental minor damage to North Vietnam’s dikes, but the damage was unintentional and the dikes were not the intended targets of the bombings.

July 31, 1974 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden was born in Washington, D.C. He went on to play for UCLA and the Baltimore Ravens. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

July 31, 1975 – The Drish House on 17th Street in Tuscaloosa, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. (13 Alabama Ghosts)

July 31, 1981 - The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.

July 31, 1982 – NFL outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware was born in Auburn, Ala. He went on to play for Auburn High School, Troy University, the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos.

July 31, 1984 – In municipal elections in Castleberry, Ala., Lawrence Ryals beat Billy Wayne Godwin, 230-100, in the race for mayor. Billy Seales won the runoff for the Place 1 seat on the town council over James Masingill; Phelan Findley Sr. won the runoff for the Place 2 seat on the council over Douglas Graham; Larry Bethuen won the runoff for the Place 4 seat on the council over Lula B. Sellers Palmer. On July 10, Mitt Sullivan won the Place 3 seat on the council, and Bill Moncrease won Place 5.

July 31, 1990 - Nolan Ryan won the 300th game of his career, throwing 7-2/3 strong innings with eight strikeouts to lead his Texas Rangers to an 11-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

July 31, 1990 – Local weather observer Harry Ellis reported a total of 5.20 inches of rainfall during the month of July 1990 in Evergreen, Ala.

July 31, 1998 – Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported a high temperature of 100 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

July 31, 2001 - Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings collapsed during practice. The 27-year-old died the next day of multiple organ failure due to heatstroke.

July 31, 2014 – Evergreen, Ala. weather reporter Betty Ellis reported that total rainfall for the month of July 2014 was 1.39 inches.

July 31, 2014 – During a special called meeting, the Castleberry, Ala. Town Council voted to revive the town’s dormant municipal court, which hadn’t heard a case in over a decade. Town officials began mailing out certified letters about the change to county and state officials the following days.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., July 31, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.70 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  7.25 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 9.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 35.05 inches.

Notes: Today in the 213th day of 2016 and the 42nd day of Summer. There are 153 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

George Singleton tells of foxhunter extraordinaire Raymond Fountain

George Buster Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Raymond Fountain: The fox hunt is his world” was originally published in the Nov. 25, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Everybody knows Raymond Fountain. If one is in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana or Mississippi – any place where foxhunters get together – sooner or later Fountain’s name will be mentioned. Whenever a foxhunter wants to verify his dog’s bloodline, he will almost always say: ask Raymond Fountain, he knows. And he does. Some of his fox hounds’ blood lines can be traced back to the early 1850s.

I have on many occasions talked to this Monroe Countian over a cup of coffee, about his hounds and his love for them, and fox hunting. “I owned my first hound when I was eight years old,” stated Fountain as I visited him one afternoon. “Everybody had a dog then. Fox hides would bring around six dollars on the market, and a coon hide would bring around four dollars and a half. Mostly people used the dogs to help catch the family’s meat supply.

“In 1920, I decided to start my own breed or pedigree of fox hounds. Some of the blood lines most common around here then were the Walker’s, the Goodman’s, the July hounds, and the Trig pedigrees. I decided to call my pedigree or blood line the Free Lance pedigree.

“Most every fox hunter, when selecting his line, looks for different things, such as the way the dog barks – if the bark will carry a great distance. Others might like a fast dog. Then some will pick a dog for endurance; one that can run a great distance without tiring, no depending on speed alone.

“I decided that I would try and breed some of the better features of the four pedigrees mentioned earlier into my Free Lance hounds. I started out with the Walker and July, picking up the Trig blood line as I went along. Over the years, I have had some good dogs. Got some good uns now.

“See that dog over there? That’s Old Bottom. His ancestors have been here in my yard for the past 50 years. His granddaddy, Old Ring, won the Burnt Corn Trials three years straight running. Come over here, I want to show you something.”

We went into a small building where I was shown several rolls of wide paper, each rolled up like one would a blueprint or calendar.

“These are pedigrees, like a family tree kinda. This one here is 36 feet long.”

I was handed a roll of paper about three feet wide, and I’m sure it was 36 feet long if it was an inch. I’m not smart much when it comes to fox hound pedigrees, but it looked legal to me. However, I did notice some of the names that I remember quite well; names like California Frank, Ring, Old Aggie, Stride Boy, Old John, Judy, and, most of all, Fargo Jake. This dog alone sired over 500 puppies.

As we visited each pen and each dog, I was told the date of birth and who its mammy was. I was told whether its daddy was better than the others, or the weak points if there were any. Occasionally one might have a soft foot that would get sore easily, or had a peculiar bark, or once on the trail wouldn’t want to come back when the fox horn was blown.

As I listened and marveled at this man’s ability to remember all that he had told me, I could see the great love that Raymond Fountain had for his hounds and the hunt itself. This was his world; a world that he both dearly loved and respected. Few men of our day see the elegance of our surroundings as he does.

As I was about to leave, I made the mistake of mentioning a dead fox that I had seen on the highway. I saw a twinge of pain cross the man’s face. I knew that I had found the secret behind it all; the secret that a true fox hunter jealously defends.

I suspect the object of the hunt is not to catch the fox, but for him to run long and hard. The longer he runs, the longer the deep music will last, made by the hounds as they give chase across the moon-lit fields, giving the listening hunters the feeling that all is well within their world.

Each one hopes that the sly old fox will give the hounds the slip after a while, so he can rest up and get in shape again, for other races to come.

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County in June 1964 (some sources say 1961) and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Today in History for July 30, 2016

USS Indianapolis 
July 30, 762 AD – Baghdad was founded by caliph Al-Mansur.

July 30, 1502 – Christopher Columbus landed at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.

July 30, 1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convened for the first time.

July 30, 1729 - The city of Baltimore was founded in Maryland.

July 30, 1733 – The first Masonic Grand Lodge in the future United States was constituted in Massachusetts.

July 30, 1780 - Colonel Isaac Shelby and 600 Patriots took Fort Anderson, also known as Fort Thicketty, located 10 miles southeast of Cowpens, South Carolina, and held by a Loyalist garrison, without firing a shot. Shelby’s action followed the more famous Waxhaws massacre by two months and preceded the Battle of King’s Mountain by just over two months, causing it to receive comparatively little historical attention.

July 30, 1813 – Gen. Ferdinand L. Claiborne and his Mississippi militia reached Mount Vernon and learned that settlers had constructed Fort White, a small defensive fort a short distance northeast of Grove Hill in Clarke County, for defense against Red Stick raids.

July 30, 1818 – Novelist and poet Emily Bronte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England. She is best remembered for her 1847 novel, “Wuthering Heights.”

July 30, 1825 – Malden Island was discovered by captain George Byron, 7th Baron Byron.

July 30, 1838 - A rain of frogs fell in London, England.

July 30, 1859 – The first ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps, was achieved.

July 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Miller's Ranch, California and at Clark's Mill, Missouri.

July 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, the term “Copperhead” was used for the first time in writing by the Cincinnati Gazette. It was used to indicate people who would not admit they were Southern sympathizers, and "peace at any price" Democrats. People who did admit Southern sympathies were called "dough-heads." The paper used the term when referring to members of the Indiana Democratic Convention.

July 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, in Boston, bells which had been contributed by Southern churches, plantations and individuals to be cast into cannons were sold at auction. Federal General Benjamin F, Butler had confiscated them at New Orleans.

July 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Elm Springs, Arkansas; near Lexington and near Marshall, Missouri; at Irvine, Kentucky; at Barnwell’s Island, South Carolina; and at Grand Junction, Tennessee.

July 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of the Crater, the Union’s ingenious attempt to break the Confederate lines at Petersburg, Va., by blowing up a huge cache of gunpowder at the end of a 500-foot tunnel they had dug under the Rebel trenches, failed. Although the explosion created a gap in the Confederate defenses, a poorly planned Yankee attack wasted the effort and the result was an eight-month continuation of the siege. The crater that was created was 170 feet long, 60 to 80 feet wide and 30 feet deep.

July 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hay Station Number 3 and near Pine Bluff, Arkansas; at Hillsborough, Clinton, Newnan, and at Clear Creek, Georgia; at Emmitsburg and Monocacy Junction, Maryland; at Lee's Mill, Virginia; at Clifton, Tennessee; at Bayou Tensas, Louisiana; and at Union Church and on the Chariton Road, Missouri.

July 30, 1866 – Armed Confederate veterans in New Orleans rioted against a meeting of Radical Republicans, killing 48 people and injuring another 100.

July 30, 1890 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and manager Casey Stengel was born in Kansas City, Mo. During his career, he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers/Superbas/Robins, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Giants and the Boston Braves and he managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boston Braves, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

July 30, 1898 - "Scientific America" carried the first magazine automobile ad. The ad was for the Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio and beckoned magazine readers to "dispense with a horse.”

July 30, 1912 - The Monroe County Masonic Conference was scheduled to convene with Tunnel Springs Lodge No. 578 at Tunnel Springs, Ala., at nine o’clock on this Tuesday and was to continue three days.

July 30-31, 1914 – Monroeville’s baseball team played a three-game series against Pensacola. Monroeville won the first game, 8-1, but dropped the second game, 3-0. Monroeville won the third game, 8-7.

July 30, 1915 – A “total stranger in the community” named Mr. Brown died at the Simmons House in Monroeville, Ala. after several days illness. He had been employed on the construction of the “Deep Water railroad” when he was “stricken with illness” and taken from the work camp to Monroeville for medical attention. He was buried in the cemetery at the Methodist Church.

July 30, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Lessee L. Veasey of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action.

July 30, 1928 - Alabama author Pauline Boyd was born in Chicago, Ill.

July 30, 1931 – The Evergreen Junior baseball team was scheduled to play Brewton on this day at Gantt Field at 2 p.m. in Evergreen, Ala. Later that day, at 3:30 p.m. at Gantt Field, the Evergreen “colored team” was scheduled to play a team from Selma.

July 30, 1932 – Walt Disney's “Flowers and Trees,” the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short, premiered.

July 30, 1935 – Congressman Frank Boykin was first elected to Congress to fill the unexpired term of Monroe Countian John McDuffie who had resigned from office. Boykin went on to represent the district in Washington for the next 53 years.

July 30, 1936 – The Southwestern Division of the Medical Association met at First Baptist Church on the Square in Monroeville, Ala.

July 30, 1936 – American blues guitarist Buddy Guy was born George Guy in Lettsworth, La.

July 30, 1938 – The Bermuda baseball team beat Lenox, 22-5.

July 30, 1939 – Will Riley, a native of Chestnut Corner, passed away at his home in Beatrice, Ala. at around 7 a.m. He was the L&N Railroad Co. station agent at McWilliams for 13 years and later the Sherrill Oil Co. distributor in Camden, serving Wilcox and surrounding counties.

July 30, 1943 - Adolf Hitler learned that Axis ally Italy was buying time before negotiating surrender terms with the Allies in light of Mussolini’s fall from power.

July 30, 1945 – During World War II, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 and sank within minutes in shark-infested waters. Only 317 of the 1,196 men on board survived. However, the Indianapolis had already completed its major mission: the delivery of key components of the atomic bomb that would be dropped a week later at Hiroshima to Tinian Island in the South Pacific.

July 30, 1947 – At the L.D. King Mill in Conecuh County, Ala., a fire broke out near a boiler shortly after noon and did considerable damage to machinery and equipment before being brought under control by the fire department.

July 30, 1954 – J.W. Reeves, farmer at Castleberry, Ala., ginned the first bale of the 1954 cotton season in Conecuh County. He had the cotton ginned at the Evergreen Gin, and it weighed 473 pounds. It graded middling one-inch staple.

July 30, 1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing “In God we trust” as the U.S. national motto.

July 30, 1959 – Mobile, Ala. native Willie McCovey made his Major League debut for the San Francisco Giants. In his Major League debut, McCovey went four-for-four against Hall-of-Famer Robin Roberts, hitting two triples and two singles, en route to a .354 batting average that year, in which he won National League Rookie of the Year honors while playing in just 52 games.

July 30, 1963 – Sweet Water, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality. (Ala. League of Mun.)

July 30, 1964 - At about midnight, six “Swifts,” special torpedo boats used by the South Vietnamese for covert raids, attacked the islands of Hon Me and Hon Ngu in the Tonkin Gulf. Although unable to land any commandos, the boats fired on island installations. Radar and radio transmissions were monitored by an American destroyer, the USS Maddox, which was stationed about 120 miles away.

July 30, 1965 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid. It went into effect the following year and was the country's first national health insurance program.

July 30, 1965 – Manuel Stablers, who lived on the Franklin Road near Fountain, Ala., found Tom Clausell, 71, sitting under a tree eight miles north of Monroeville. Clausell had been missing July 25, and Stablers took him to the hospital, from which he was released on Aug. 1.

July 30, 1968 - Ron Hansen of the Washington Senators made the first unassisted triple play in the Major Leagues in 41 years.

July 30, 1969 – During the Vietnam War, U.S. President Richard Nixon made an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and met with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and U.S. military commanders.

July 30, 1971 - U.S. President Nixon gave the keynote speech at a banquet honoring seven new inductees into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

July 30, 1974 – During the “Watergate Scandal,” U.S. President Richard Nixon released subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States. The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee also voted to impeach President Nixon for blocking the Watergate investigation and for abuse of power.

July 30, 1975 – Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He was never seen or heard from again, and was declared legally dead on July 30, 1982. There have been rumors, since disproved, that he was murdered and his body was buried in the end zone at Giants Stadium.

July 30, 1990 – George Steinbrenner was forced by Commissioner Fay Vincent to resign as principal partner of New York Yankees for hiring Howie Spira to "get dirt" on Dave Winfield.

July 30-Aug. 3, 1990 – Sparta Academy’s varsity cheerleaders attended a UCA Clinic at Huntingdon College in Monroeville. They returned home with seven blue Superior ribbons, three gold Outstanding ribbons and a Superior trophy. The members of the cheerleading squad, who were sponsored by Linda Coker, included Capt. Kimberli Griffin, Co-Capt. Stacey White, Co-Capt. Ashley Earnest, Stephanie Booth, Julie Brundage, Pam Jones, Michelle Pate and Kaye Salter.

July 30, 1996 - A federal law enforcement source said that security guard Richard Jewell had become the focus of the investigation into the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park. Jewell was later cleared as a suspect.

July 30, 1999 – “The Blair Witch Project”, a low-budget, independent horror film that will become a massive hit, was released in U.S. theaters.

July 30, 2007 – Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh died at the age of 75 in Woodside, Calif. He is best known for his time as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and Stanford. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

July 30, 2010 – The Harrison Cemetery near Kinston along with Grancer Harrison's Grave was vandalized. Approximately 50 headstones were overturned.

July 30, 2014 – James Hurd turned a lot of heads in Evergreen when he carried a large wooden cross up and down U.S. Highway 84 and 31 in Evergreen, Ala. Many believed that Hurd, age 30, was on a cross-country trip, but he actually lived in Evergreen. A former resident of Selma, Hurd, a devout Christian, was carrying the cross to encourage people to attend church.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., July 30, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.70 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  7.25 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 9.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 35.05 inches.

Notes: Today in the 212th day of 2016 and the 41st day of Summer. There are 154 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Friday, July 29, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 797 miles down and 1,002 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 14 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked five miles on Sunday, five miles on Wednesday and four more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 797 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,002 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 44.3 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 21st day of the trip past Rivendell, which is Jan. 13 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 783, which was where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, reached a barren country of red stones. Five miles later, at Mile 788, the group reaches the Sirannon around 11 a.m.


The group finds this stream dry, so they head east on a path along the stream. Two miles later, at Mile 790, the path lies in a deep trough, and it’s a rough, winding track. Two miles later, at Mile 792, the group stops to eat quickly, around 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.


Four and a half miles later, at Mile 796.5, the group reaches the Fall of the Sirannon. Frodo, Gimli and Gandalf climb the stairs to the upland valley and return. A half mile later, at Mile 797, the group climbs a curving road to the upland valley and find it mostly filled with a lake. The next significant milestone comes three-tenths of a mile later, a Mile 797.3, where the group wads through a stream at the north end of this lake.


So far, I’m on track to travel the 462 miles from Rivendell to Lothlorien, which is the forest realm of the Elves, between Rivendell and Mordor, within the 2016 calendar year. To pull this off in a year’s time, I’ve got to travel at least 8.9 miles per week, that is, a little more than a mile a day. So far, so good, since I covered a total of 14 miles this week and 339 miles since the start of the calendar year. This Friday was the 31st Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 10.9 miles per week up to this point.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1, 2015. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,799 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.


The folks who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound very familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,799 miles in a year.


If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.


In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out at least nine more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.